A bra is one of the most important parts of any woman’s wardrobe. It is worn everyday but so many of us put up with bras that rub, rid up, dig in and squash us. A correctly fitting bra can be a life changing experience for some women, only when you have it right do you realize how much fidgeting and re-adjusting you do throughout the day trying to be comfortable.
But where do you start? With the statistics showing that the majority of women are wearing poorly fitted bra it’s clearly not a simple as it seems. It’s unfortunate that not all bra fitting experiences are equal and even when you go to the store for a fitting it’s not always right.
I have a cheeky little trade secret to share with you… if you aren’t sure where to start, try on a bra that is 2 inches smaller around the band and a cup size larger than what you are wearing and see the difference. 90% of the women I see who are wearing the wrong size are in band size that is too big and cup size that is too small. The first time I was expertly fitted, when I was 17, I walked in to the boutique a 36C and walked out a 34DD.
Here are a few more tips to make sure putting on your bra in the morning is the last time you think about it.
1.The band has to fit snugly. The band of the bra is the elastic strap that goes around the back and under the bust. This is the part bra that does most of the hard work and provides the support. If the band does not fit tightly enough it will end up riding up to the back allowing your boobs to sag forward. You can tell if it’s tight enough by putting two fingers under the center of the cups and pulling away. If you feel like you are falling out the bottom then the bra isn’t giving you the support you need. When you first buy the bra it may feel too tight but after a couple of weeks washing and wearing it will soon slacken. This is why many bras feel great when you try them on in the store, but after you have had them a while they start to become uncomfortable.
2. The underwire fits around the breast tissue. The underwires of a bra should meet in the middle and sit flush against the chest. If they gap away it can mean the cup is the wrong size. The wires should curve underneath the breast and around the side without sticking into the delicate breast tissue. This will mean it will sit comfortably all day without rubbing.
3. Shoulder straps should stay in one place. Although the weight of the bust is held primarily on the band, the straps still need to be tight enough so they don’t slip off the shoulder. If they are too loose the fabric on the cup may not sit smoothly. There should be the width of two fingers between the top of the shoulder and the strap. Petite girlfriends may find that the straps will need to be shortened slightly to stay put.
4.Getting coverage from the cups. The fabric of the cup should encase the breasts gently without any overspill. This will ensure there is none of the dreaded double boob effect that is highlighted in tight fitting T-shirts and turtlenecks. Two boobs are better than four, definitely a case of less is more!
5. Put on the bra properly. This can sound crazy but there is a right way and wrong way to put on a bra. To get the best effect pop your arms through the straps then lean right forward at the waist. Scoop the underwires right under the breasts so they sit where the breast meets the ribs. Do it up at the back, on the loosest hook and eye, then stand straight and put your shoulder straps up. It can take a bit of practice and if you have limited flexibility it might be a struggle. Looking in the mirror readjust your boobs so they are sitting right, lift them up and move outwards. Try it and see the difference it makes. Your breasts will now sit at the bottom of the cup making sure you get optimum support.
6. Don’t feel pressured to buy. If you are in any doubt when bra shopping don’t feel obliged to buy, even if an assistant has been spending a lot of time with you. If you hear any talk of twin sizes i.e. a 36B is the same as a 34C you are being sold a story. If they were exactly the same why would they make two different sizes? A good lingerie supplier will understand that you need to be 100% happy and comfortable in the bra, after all you have to wear this everyday!
A good bra can make you feel like a million dollars. Take time to treat yourself to a relaxed bra shopping trip. You will be amazed at the difference it can make, not only to how your clothes look but how you feel.
Miss Kitty Plum is a dedicated lover of lingerie. She is a professional bra fitter and co-owns Plums Lingerie, a specialist boutique that stocks lingerie for every woman. She also runs Lingeriechat on Twitter every Sunday where lingerie fans get together to chat through everything and anything lingerie related. www.twitter.com/plumslingerie.
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Bra photo from Wikipedia.